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November 14, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-11-14

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C

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, November 14, 1985

The Michigan Daily

I

It's not length, but quality that counts

Boy am I tired. Geez. I've been up for 16
hours today, and I'll probably be up for a
few more.
Sleep is really a wonderful thing, if you
could stay awake long enough to really think
about it. It's like sex. The longer you hold
back, the better it gets. And it's not the
length of time you sleep, it's the quality that
counts.
Eric
Mattson
I got into the habit of sleeping when I was
just an infant, although some people in nor-
thern Ohio reportedly wander around nights
in a stupor until they reach puberty,
graduate from high school and get a job
selling manure at open-air markets. For
most people, however, sleep is as important
Mattson is a Daily reporter. His
column appears on alternate Thursdays.

as other bodily functions, like eating and
going to class.
For many years, psychoanalysts have
been trying to unlock the secrets of sleep.
They study volunteers while they dream of
weird things and monitor their thoughts and
do their stuff by putting electrodes in un-
speakable places. Obviously, it's very pain-
ful for the volunteers, who only do it
because they get five bucks an hour.
The problem with this approach is that
nobody can sleep normally when they're in a
strange place surrounded by strange people
in lab coats. The only way to find out why
people sleep is to observe them in their
natural environment: the Undergraduate
Library.
One of the causes of dozing off in the
UGLi-besides general tiredness-is the
heat. This phenomenon is not unique to the
libraries. It seems as if some sicko in the
utilities department likes to go around in his
spare time and crank up the thermostat for
the sadistic pleasure of watching innocent
students nod off when the professor is get-
ting to the really interesting part of the slide
show.
But heat is only a minor factor when com-
pared with the biggest cause of sleep: being
awake. It's been clinically proven by me

that if you stay awake for a long time you'll
eventually pass out, unless you die, which is
actually a highly sophisticated form of REM
sleep.
College students are in a unique position
as far as sleep is concerned. It's difficult to
get into a good sleep pattern if you've got two
8 o'clocks, an 11 o'clock and two 1 o'clocks.

"There are very few
feelings more satisfying
than waking* up and
being able to fall back to
sleep..."

Even this tradition can backfire. Last
week, for instance, I needed to buy a Purdue
ticket for an out-of-town visitor, and I was
about to go buy one at the Union when it
dawned on me that all my housemates
would be gold medalists in the Sleep Olym-
pics.
I knocked on one of their doors and heard a
low groan. (He had apparently partaken in the
pre-pre-game festivities.) Since the game
was scheduled to start pretty soon, I knew
he wouldn't be able to get up. "Take it," he
croaked when I asked him if he needed his
ticket.
Immediately he went back to sleep. There
are very few feelings more satisfying than
waking up and being able to fall back to
sleep, except perhaps the moment after
orgasm.
I have a morning ritual that everyone
truly dedicated to the art of shut-eye should
try. When my alarm goes off, whining like a
bulldozer in reverse, I stagger out of bed
and punch the snooze button. Then I dive
back into bed for nine minutes of bliss. I
repeat this process until I get up or the
snooze stops working. It's fun-great at par-
ties too.
Everyone has rituals about sleep. Another

of my housemates has this queer habit of
procrastinating for hours then going to his
room to study Latin. On his bed. In his
pajamas. With the lights off.
None of these sleep habits can compare
with those of still another housemate of
mine, whom we affectionately referato as
"Sloth" (not his real name). Sloth is a man
who was born to relax. From the time he
gets up in at the crack of noon, he lounges
through the day with little apparent effort.
It's truly phenomenal.

College students, because we have more
time to ponder intellectual endeavors, think
about sleep more than the rest of the general
population. Hence, it is often a chief topic of
discussion- right up there with ''Do you say
pop or soda?"
It has even become fashionable to brag
about how little sleep you've gotten. Try this
as an opening line at the bar: "I've gotten
five hours of sleep in the last four days.
Whaddya say, babe?" Pretty smooth.
Just remember that sleep isn't something
you can just take up as a hobby. You've got
to throw your entire soul into it. As John Ir-
ving says, "You've got to get obsessed and
stay obsessed." Don't be lazy about sleep.
Pleasant dreams.

And then on the weekends you don't know
when the hell to get up, unless there's a foot-
ball game, in which case you might get up
for the pre-game festivities.

b]Cfftdigan :43atIJ
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVI, No. 51 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Ann Arbor's aid for Africa

In the black

By Wendy Seiden
30,000 children and 10,000 adults 'die each
day as a direct result of hunger and star-
vation. More than 500 million people suffer
from chronic malnutrition. In Africa alone,
25 million people are at immediate risk of
dying.
These figures are certainly startling, but
is there actually anything we can do to
alleviate the sitaution? After all, many
people argue, USA for Africa and Live Aid
raised millions of dollars, yet extraor-
dinary numbers of people are still dying of
hunger. Hunger has existed since the begin-
ning of time; can raising a few dollars here
and there even forge a dent in the problem?
Unfortunately, this type of fatalistic at-
titude seems to be pervading current
thought. In fact, the hunger problem is
complex, and some hunger relief programs
in the past have been ill-focused; however,
it is the understanding of past failures that
has prompted current hunger campaigns to
rechannel their aid so that money currently
being raised is in fact helping to end hunger.
One reason previous programs have
failed has to do with the complex causes of
Seiden is an LSA fresh woman currently
enrolled in the World Hunger class and a
member of the National Student Cam-
paign Against Hunger.

When James Blanchard took
office as governor just three
years ago he found a state gover-
nment awash in red ink. The
Milliken administration had ac-
cumulated a hidden 1.7 billion
dollar deficit. Michigan is now
solvent because Blanchard did
what was necessary and raised
taxes. Much of the tax increase has
already been rolled back, the
schedule which has been followed
in bringing taxes back down to
their original rate of 4.6 has ob-
viously worked well and should not
be prematurely pushed forward.
Since the state is living within its
means for the first time in ten
.years, the budgetmakers have not
been required to use financial
gimmicks to achieve the con-
stitutionally required balanced
budget. Wall street analysts agree
that Michigan is back on its feet
financially and have lowered the
state and local government interest
rates. Because of this new stability
Michigan can take a step toward
full economic recovery.
Solvency means that on Dec. 1
the state income tax rate will be
reduced to 5.1 from its current rate
of 5.35. The rate has been steadily
decreasing since it was raised to
6.35 three years ago. The senate
Republicans advocate an im-
mediate return to the old 4.6 tax
rate yet they emphasize their
commitment to strong schools and
colleges, more prisons and in-
creased property tax credits. What
this adds up to is a refusal to live
within their means and a return to

the fiscal policies which led the
state into near backruptcy just
three years ago.
Under Milliken the ad-
ministration got around the balan-
ced budget provision of the state
constitution with its own form of
accounting, borrowing money from
school aid to meet payroll then shif-
ting money from another fund to
meet school expenses. When Blan-
chard took office he had to delay
$502 million in payments to
colleges, schools and local gover-
nment just to meet payroll. The
University suffered steep aid cuts
along with most other state-
supported institutions because of
the accrued debt.
The Republicans claim that fur-
ther tax reductions will spur
economic growth. They forget that
three years ago when the state was
nearly bankrupt, its low income tax
did not keep it from having one of
the worst economies in the nation.
A better way to encourage growth
would be to leave the income tax
alone and lower property taxes,
either by adopting Governor Blan-
chard's plan to make more people
eligible for the property tax credit
or by ' simply lowering the
assessment. When Massachusetts
did this their economic growth rate
increased from 47th in the United
States to one of the top six.
A state which does not have a
large debt hanging over its head
has the ability to provide social
services for its citizens. Michigan
should continue on the course
which has prompted financial
recovery and not regress to
drastic, unrealistic tax cuts.

hunger. Former campaigns were based on
the belief that third world countries were
not capable of producing enough food to feed
their people. In actuality, most third world
countries produce more than enough grain
to allow for every person to consume well
over the recommended daily minimum. The
political structure in many third world
coupled with a reluctance on the part of those
elite is able to remain in economic and
political power through the economic
repression of a poor majority. The lack of
infrastructure in third world countries
coupled with a reluctance on the part of those
in power in these countries to distribute the
donated food meant that the food did not
always reach its intended destination: the
starving poor.
The primary factor which distinguished
new hunger campaigns such as USA for
Africa from former programs is the
realization that poor distribution of resour-
ces is the foremost cause of hunger, and that
the support of self-reliance is a goal of third
world countries. This essential difference
makes fundraising for the fight against
world hunger not only justified, but
necessary to reach the attainable goal of
ending hunger.
USA for Africa funds are allocated in four
categories: 35 percent for immediate relief
in Africa (food, medicine, transportation
and shelter); 35 percent for long-term

economic development to further self-
reliance; and 10 percent for the relief of
hunger in America. USA for Africa has sent
representatives to third world countries to
investigate the situation, and they have
assembled an Advisory Board and a
Medical Task Force to help select specific
projects to fund. Once projects are chosen,
USA for Africa directly supervises the pur-
chasing, shipment, and distribution to
Africa.
The first step in helping USA for Africa
reach its goal is to be aware of and par-
ticiapte in its programs. This week, Ann Ar-
bor is being given the opportunity.
PIRGIM's National Student Campaign
Against Hunger in cooperation with USA for
Africa is sponsoring an all-day benefit con-
cert at Michigan Theater on Sunday,
November 17. Ann Arbor Aid for Africa,
Rock Aid, will feature these popular bands:
the Urbations, Peter "Madcat" Ruth, Map
of the World,' the Watusies, Dreaming in
Color, Kingbee, Invisible Ink, Banditz, and
Entropy. Comedians Lou Schneider and
Dave Zoarn will be performing through the
day. The $10 admission charge, which can
be purchased at the Michigan Theater
box office, is a small donation in light of the
vast and tragic nature of the problem. Each
ticket purchase ultimately represents a
significant step in the long yet terminable
pathway of the fight against world hunger.

6
41

Chassy
ooEPENSEO BEANS FOR
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DAILY JI -

LETTERS:
Spare a quarter for

0

'!

WELL, S SAW
*4k 1 tcc

the bucket drive

r

FILLING 1
r- .

AND, % S4Y
11- 14'5Is
GRET I

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To the Daily:
Being new to the Ann Arbor
community, many students such
as myself are also new to the in-
stitution of the Bucket Drive. At
first wary of these student
beggars, I have since become
to appreciate these bucket
drivers and their solicitous

the project. I forgot to ask where
Beulah is, however, so I don't
know exactly where the quarter
that I donated went.
On the steps of the Union, I was
asked to help a center for bat-
tered women. Tossing off the
comment, "No, maybe next
time," I reached the top of the

stairs. Next time? Next time?! I
realized that it was then or never,
that there was no next time for a
quarter. And I gave.
So how about the next time for
you? Spare a quarter for the
bucket, it means more than you'll
ever know. And when the
shivering hniuket driver savs

"Thanks," return a "No, thank
you." Standing in the cold, the
bucket driver provides you the
opportunity to feel warm all day.
Louis Sugarman
November 11

Ak

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